The Iowa Theatre Artists Company is the “new kid on the block” in the Iowa professional theatre community. The founders of the company, however, are not. Meg Merckens and Tom Johnson, co-founders of the company, are each veterans of many years of directing, acting, and promotion in the professional theatre. Meg and Tom currently are co-producers for ITAC and are involved in company management, new projects development, and producing the artistic product of the company.
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ITAC is a not-for-profit, federally tax exempt corporation (501c3). It is administered by a professional staff and governed by a volunteer board of directors. Board members serve for terms up to 3 years.
ITAC enjoys a close working relationship with the ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION, the union of professional actors and stage managers and is currently working under a SPT (small professional theatre) contract with the union. Both of the founding members are long-time members of Equity, and believe that the union has been beneficial for its members in terms of compensation and working conditions.
Although there is a dedicated group of volunteers who donate their time and energy to help achieve the mission and goals of ITAC, all of the theatre artists themselves are paid professionals. The paid artists include directors, designers, graphic artists, stage managers, union actors, non-union actors, singers, and musicians. Special emphasis is placed on hiring professionals with Iowa or Midwestern roots.
During each season a number of interns join our professional training program. Each has an opportunity to work in his or her area of theatrical interest and skill as well as on a wide range of production and promotional projects. Interns spend from 3 to 9 months with ITAC acting, singing, dancing, operating lights and sound equipment, building scenery, finding props, and sewing costumes. During this intense training period, housing and a weekly living stipend are provided.
ITAC has a small but active group of volunteers that participates in everything ranging from pre-production work to ushering. We are currently in the process of growing the size of this group. Our volunteer program is a win-win situation for all involved. The theatre gets much needed help from interested and skilled people while the volunteers have an enjoyable opportunity to participate in a meaningful community service. In return, volunteers get free tickets, an occasional party, a sense of accomplishment, and a whole lot of fun. Contact us and sign up today!
Although our center of business operation is in South Amana (on the southwest corner of Iowa’s beautiful Amana Colony), we are a theatre producing organization without a theatre building. In pursuit of our mission, we are available to play in many venues in many communities throughout Iowa and the Midwest. However, we are currently looking for a facility to house our rehearsal space, our laboratory theatre of 125 seats and our business operations. Keep watching for news on that front.
WE STRIVE TO PRODUCE THE BEST IN LIVE THEATRE.
We mount public performances of new plays and existing classical works as well as popular fare with close attention to the highest artistic standards. In short, we are in the business of producing good shows. While our purpose is always to provide an entertaining theatrical experience, we believe in incorporating new methods, new styles and new forms to positively develop our art form.
WE SERVE A DIVERSE AUDIENCE
Our objective is to bring the live-theatre experience to those who might otherwise be deprived of the opportunity to experience it. We specifically target underserved audiences, including young people, the elderly, the geographically isolated, and those in financial need by sponsoring touring and regional theatrical residencies.
WE SERVE THE PROFESSION OF LIVE THEATRE AND THE COMMUNITY
ITAC takes a unique approach in pursuing its service to the profession and to the community. Our multifaceted approach includes:
a. Providing professional directors, designers and other production personnel to other non-profit organizations with a like mission at reasonable rates.
b. Aiding in the development of new theatre artists by providing education and practical hands-on experience for young professionals-in-training
c. Serving as clearing house for qualified theatre artists who are seeking work in Iowa and by matching them up with organizations looking for professionals with the appropriate skills.
Serving as a foundation organization for fledgling producing groups seeking to establish themselves as permanent professional theatre companies by providing facilities, equipment, and business structure.